53 When Jesus had finished these parables, He departed from there. 54 He came to His hometown and began teaching them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? 55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? 56 And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” 57 And they took offense at Him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” 58 And He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief. Matthew 13:53-58 (NASB)
The condition of the “visible church” in our time is quite tragic. It is full of professing Christians who appear to be running headlong into apostasy in ever increasing numbers. In this post we will attempt to look at what it is in these people that has brought this about. Why have they fallen into darkness and we have not? There are leaders amongst those on the broadway that leads to apostasy that have a problem taking God’s Word as absolute truth. On the other hand, I have always taught God’s Word as literal truth yet there are many places in the Word that some professing Christians have a problem taking literally because, if we do, then it refutes their pet theology exactly to the point. That is the nature of God’s truth. I have had some very ugly discussions in Bible Study classes about doctrine in which certain people were insistent that a section of God’s Word cannot be taken literally even though the only refutation they have against doing so is human philosophy. This, my brethren, is unbelief in action.
Steven Kozar claims that Dr. Michael Brown lost all credibility on his Facebook wall by choosing to become a “cheerleader” for false teachers. Sadly, Dr. Brown, who is a highly regarded Bible scholar and host of The Line of Fire, has declined to compare the teaching of those who teach doctrines of devils (1 Tim 4:1) such as Jennifer LeClaire, Heidi Baker, Bill & Beni Johnson and others to Scripture. Brown has been chided for appearing on the shows of two notorious false teachers, Benny Hinn and Sid Roth.
In this piece over at Messed Up Church, Steven Kozer lays out the evidence that Dr. Michael Brown really “stepped in it”:
On May 5th, 2017, Dr. Michael Brown interviewed Jennifer LeClaire on his call-in radio show “The Line of Fire,” and after the interview segment was finished Chris Rosebrough called the show to ask Dr. Brown some tough questions about Jennifer LeClaire and her “Sneaky Squid Spirit.” There was a brief and interesting exchange between the two men.
I (Steven Kozar) wrote a blog post about the exchange where I said this about Dr. Michael Brown: “He’s a hyper-charismatic cheerleader with a big microphone and a very gullible audience.” (Here’s the full blog post with audio of the “Sneaky Squid Spirit” exchange between Dr. Brown and Chris Rosebrough: Michael Brown Can’t Defend “Sneaky Squid Spirit”-Repeatedly Changes the Subject)
Dr. Brown decided to make light of my quote and garner support from his Facebook friends by posting this:
According to a new Gallup poll, the majority of those polled believe the Bible is a book of myths and fables. “This is the first time in Gallup’s four-decade trend that biblical literalism has not surpassed biblical skepticism.” Paul Bedard of Washington Examiner has the story:
A record low percentage of Americans believe that the Bible is “actual word of God,” with more calling it a “book of fables,” similar to Aesop’s, according to a new survey.
Gallup reports that just 24 percent believe the Bible should be taken “literally, word for word.”
10 But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. 11 For it is written,
“As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me,
And every tongue shall give praise to God.”
12 So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.
13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way. Romans 14:10-13 (NASB)
Without a doubt, there is a growing apostasy in the Church. One of the main reasons this is taking place is that the majority of professing Christians have adopted the pervasive attitude in modern Western culture that says authority to determine right and wrong resides in the individual. Combine this with a critical spirit in a person and we have one who not only believes that truth is whatever he or she determines it is, but they also seem to take great pleasure in hypocritically judging others just as our Lord commanded us not to do (Matthew 7:1-6).
According to Steve McCranie of Leaving Laodicea, hidden sleeper cells have found a home in the visible Church. “These certain men have crept (pareisdúō) into the church unnoticed, or by stealth. The word means to ‘enter in craftily, under cover of darkness, like a thief,'” says McCranie. “They, like a terrorist sleeper cell, blend in with the others waiting for a time to attack from the inside, from the unprotected underbelly of the church. They are most sinister.”
So, what are we to do?
McCranie tells us who some of these wolves in sheep’s clothing are and offers his advice on what we must do to keep the Body of Christ a “glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle.” He writes:
For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. Jude 1:4
Churchill once said, borrowing from an old African proverb, “When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.” While there is much truth to that proverb, the opposite is also true. “When the enemy is within, the enemies outside can hurt you.” And they can hurt you bad. Often permanently.
It should come as no surprise to learn from a new Gallup poll that pretty much anything goes with most Americans. According to the report:
Americans continue to express an increasingly liberal outlook on what is morally acceptable, as their views on 10 of 19 moral issues that Gallup measures are the most left-leaning or permissive they have been to date. The percentages of U.S. adults who believe birth control, divorce, sex between unmarried people, gay or lesbian relations, having a baby outside of marriage, doctor-assisted suicide, pornography and polygamy are morally acceptable practices have tied record highs or set new ones this year. At the same time, record lows say the death penalty and medical testing on animals are morally acceptable.
Just prior to his death in 2014, Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries took on what he referred to as Big Tent postmodern liberal Christianity in a piece entitled “Good Works Actually Extend From God.” And as always, Ken nailed it:
I know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps. (Jeremiah 10:23)
Labors in the Lord like this one here at Apprising Ministries would never have been necessary had the mainstream evangelical Christian community not decided to follow the mainline denominations, who’re now mortally wounded by adherence to the religious slavery of liberal theology. It was a serious error from which evangelicalism may indeed never recover.
Yet in His mercy, as the Internet started to gain more influence within Christendom, Jesus would begin to raise up a few initial ministries to pioneer the mission field of online apologetics and discernment ministry (OADM). Unfortunately self-righteous, and largely self-appointed, evangelical leaders chose to ignore these early watchmen.
Even so, over the past couple of decades—as God would begin calling His elect away from these false shepherds—He’s still graciously continued to try and reach them while spreading His truth through the work of a growing number of OADMs. At the same time Satan would launch his Christian counterfeit aka the Emerging Church (EC) via evangelicalism’s Leadership Network (LN).
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. Ephesians 5:25-27 (NASB)
There are really only two groups of people in the world. There are those who are branches bearing fruit in the True Vine who is Christ and then there are those who either are totally separate from the vine in their rejection of Gospel or they are branches in in the True Vine who bear no fruit. Those branches which bear fruit have been cleansed by the washing of water with the word by Christ. Their sins are forgiven. The other group has not been cleansed so are in their sins whether they are in the True Vine or not.
Steve Kozar over at Museum of Idolatry put together a video to show how false teachers such as Heidi Baker and Bill & Beni Johnson of Bethel Church in Redding, CA use repetitive phrases and repetitive music to induce their audience into a trance-like state. You will see ordinary folks, who’ve been hypnotized, doing the most bizarre things imaginable, believing that the Holy Spirit is responsible for what they’re experiencing. Kozar begins with a warning to those who view the video that some might find what they see very disturbing. Here’s what prompted the headline:
Recently, in an exchange on his Facebook page, Dr. Michael Brown was challenged (by Steven Kozar, Chris Rice, Amy Spreeman and others) to call out these false teachers in order to protect his listeners from their very bad doctrine. False teachers like Jennifer LeClaire, Heidi Baker, Bill Johnson and Benny Hinn. Nobody suggested that Dr. Brown personally attack these people, but simply compare their teachings to Scripture. He repeatedly refused. Strangely, he did not fully endorse them; instead he used vague generalizations like “as far as I know these are fine Christians.” Dr. Brown wants to be respected as a very knowledgeable scholar and expert, but he continually expresses ignorance about the people and teachings from within his very own movement. Dr. Brown promotes these people on his own radio show, and he’s been a guest on Benny Hinn’s TV show.
Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission president Russell Moore drew criticism for his alleged disrespect toward evangelical supporters of Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election. Baptist Press reports that the issues have been resolved:
The Louisiana Baptist Convention’s Executive Board has concluded a study of “issues of concern” related to the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and issued a letter commending ERLC President Russell Moore for “confessing his failings.” The letter, addressed to the ERLC president and trustees, also urged Moore “to listen carefully and respectfully to Southern Baptists even as we listen to him.”
The LBC Executive Board voted to report to the convention’s annual meeting in November “that it has evaluated the complaints lodged against the ERLC, that its leadership has met with Dr. Moore and has sent a letter to the trustees of the ERLC and encourages the churches to continue their generous financial support for all our convention work,” according to a May 11 report by Louisiana’s Baptist Message newsjournal.
“…no lie comes from the truth.” (1 John 2:21b)
Have you learned yet that no lie is of the truth, that there is no possible harmony between a lie and the truth? In other words, that there are no gray areas in life; that a thing is either black (a lie) or it is white (the truth), and there are no gray areas, though there may be a mingling of black with white. Every Christian has an ability to exercise moral judgment to distinguish right from wrong. It is amazing how many Christians have not learned this yet and still go on echoing the lie of the world, that there can be a blending of truth and error. John utterly cuts the ground out from under that.
I wrote to you, he says,
because you have found this out, if you know Jesus Christ. You may not have thought through the implications, but you must know that there is no possibility of blending a lie with the truth.”
The New Testament frequently reminds us of the difficulty that the true minister of the Gospel faces. The Apostle Paul says, “We are being killed all day long, we are like sheep led to the slaughter” (Rom 8:36), and, “We are in danger every hour. We die daily” (1 Cor 15:30–32). He says the servant of God is constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake (2 Cor 4:11). And yet Paul also says he does not lose heart (2 Cor 4:16).
And as he wraps up chapter four and begins chapter five of 2 Corinthians, he develops the theme of how a sure and certain confidence in the bodily resurrection fuels our joyful, enduring ministry, even in the midst of affliction. We do not lose heart, because momentary, light affliction is achieving for us an eternal weight of glory (2 Cor 4:16-18). In the opening verse of chapter 5, Paul continues this thought.
“For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”
Paul can persevere in faithful service to the body of Christ—even the kind of service that requires him to lay down his life—because he knows something, because he has been persuaded of the truth. If you connect 5:1 with 4:16–18, you get, “Therefore, we do not lose heart . . . for we know.”
According to Eric Davis, the Lord Jesus came to deal with sin. He came to “make us see, loathe, and eradicate our inward sin, and see, love, and follow him.” He was not interested in “social justice, external humanitarian inspiration, or politico-social revolution,” says Davis. So why is it that a large (and growing) number of professing Christians avoid the concept of sin? And why do those who claim they’re followers of Jesus Christ choose to close their ears to what He taught on sin?
In this piece over at The Cripplegate, Eric Davis reveals what the One who spoke the universe into existence wants those He created to know about…sin:
It’s an alarming trend, especially in some of our younger generations. Many of us professing Christians cannot stand to hear the word. When we do, we cry foul. “It’s unloving,” “It’s toxic,” “It’s legalistic,” “It’s graceless.” We leave churches who speak of it. We ignore older saints who bring it up. We avoid authors who write about it. We harden our hearts when identified in our lives. I suppose we could call it something like “hamartiphobia”: a fearful repulsion of things like hearing teaching about sin, experiencing the exposure of our sin, and being confronted on our sin.
The Wall Street Journal reports:
A Kentucky appellate court on Friday ruled that the Christian owner of a printing shop in Lexington had the right to refuse to make T-shirts promoting a local gay pride festival.
The dispute represents the latest court fight testing the limits of antidiscrimination protections for gays and lesbians following the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 landmark ruling legalizing gay marriage nationwide.
According to Amy Spreeman of Berean Research, prophet-pastor Steven Furtick of the highly influential Elevation Church has been “full-on N.A.R. (New Apostolic Reformation) for years, and now he’ll be delivering this summer’s fresh anointing of apostolic covering at the annual [Dominion Camp Meeting] event.” Furtick is featured with several other NAR wolves in DCM’s promo picture below:
Now to Amy’s report:
Elevation’s pastor Steven Furtick is aligning with Jesse DuPlantis, Perry Stone and others for Apostle Rod Parsley’s annual Dominion Camp Meeting. Parsley says he is ready to release a seven-times greater anointing into your life.
Check out the promo video…
They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us (1 John 2:19a).
Notice that the mark of an antichrist is finally breaking away from New Testament Christianity. All such invariably do. And when they do, they will insist that they are the true mainstream of Christian truth and that we are living in the backwaters of Christian doctrine. John puts this very plainly. The mark of genuineness is continuity in the truth, continuance in true faith. What does he mean by
us? Surely not Christendom in general. He means, as he makes clear in the context of this whole letter, those who love the Word of God and who possess the Spirit of God, those who seek to obey the Word in the power of the Spirit. The emphasis he has been making all along is on those who share the life of Christ by the Word of God in the power of the Spirit of God. Heretics will invariably cut themselves off from these people.
Seems the inmates are running the asylum at some of our institutions of higher education. According to Eric Owens, there’s a second segregated community for “students passionate about diversity” at CU Boulder: Multicultural Perspectives. CU Boulder also offers a “dormitory ghetto called ‘Spectrum’ which is reserved only for ‘LGBTQIA-identifying students.’ The unwieldy acronym ‘LGBTQIA’ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (or transsexual), queer, intersex and asexual (or ally).” Daily Caller has the story:
The University of Colorado Boulder is creating a special new residence hall that will segregate black people away from the general student population.
Officials at the taxpayer-funded school have announced a plan to transform Hallett Hall, a campus residence hall, into three separate “Living Learning Communities” beginning this fall, reports Campus Reform.
One of these “Living Learning Communities” will be set aside exclusively for “black-identified students and their allies.”
A second segregated community, “Multicultural Perspectives” will be for “students passionate about diversity.”
Joe Willmann of Concordia Publishing House demonstrates the power that music has on our memory, and the way it helps us to internalize words:
For a minute, let me engage in a little thought experiment with you. Complete the following phrases from some popular songs from yesteryear:
Don’t go chasing __________________.
I heard it through the __________________.
Bye, bye Miss _____________________.
And I would walk __________________, and I would walk ____________________.
I’ll give you a moment . . .
Are you done yet?
Now the point of this experiment wasn’t to see if you would know the words waterfalls, grapevine, American Pie, 500 miles, or 500 more. No, the point of the experiment was to show you the power that music has on our memory, and they way it helps us to internalize words. You know those phrases by heart, and if you didn’t immediately remember them, now that you see the words, you can immediately hear the song in your head as you read the phrase. And how long have these songs stuck with you? Here is when they first came out…
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. John 1:1-5 (NASB)
When we look at the Moon in its phases what we are actually seeing is part of that created body orbiting the Earth facing the Sun and so reflecting its light back to us while the part not facing it being in shadow, appears dark. The dividing line between the two is called the Terminator. On one side is day and on the other is night. One side is light, one side is dark. However, we must remember that the Moon simply reflects light back to us, it has no light of its own, no brightness or luminosity generated that makes up its nature unlike the Sun. Also, if we look at our Lord’s Transfiguration, we see that the glory in which Moses and Elijah saw was actually the glory being manifested from our Lord. It was His glory or δόξα which awakened Peter, James, and John to their astonishment. As the passage above, from John 1, states, “In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” What is this light and what is this darkness? What is this life? What has this to do with the dividing line between God Centeredness and Man Centeredness?
Jillian Kay Melchior has written an exposé on prosperity preacher Paula White for Heatstreet. Pastrix Paula is known for many things, but most recently she is known as President Donald Trump’s friend, close confidant and his “pastor.” Melchoir gives us a glimpse into this wolf in sheep’s clothing’s early life and her rags to riches story. One thing we learn is how the girl who grew up in a trailer park managed to become a multi-millionaire….and chair of the president’s Evangelical Advisory Council. Melchior writes:
Donald Trump & Paula White. Photo credit: Christian Today
The most politically influential Christian in America is a controversial Florida preacher many evangelical Republicans may never have heard of: Paula White, a Florida televangelist.
White has led prayers at both the Republican National Convention and the inauguration. When Trump met in February with prominent conservatives to discuss appointing Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, White sat at the president’s immediate right. She also opened a Rose Garden ceremony last week and stood behind the president as he signed an executive order on religious liberty.
According to Christian News:
The U.K. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Christian family that was ordered to pay damages to a homosexual rights activist for declining to write the words “support gay marriage” on a cake.
“The fact that the Supreme Court is willing to hear arguments is very encouraging and reflects the importance of the issues and the high-profile nature of the case,” Ashers Baking Company Manager Daniel McArthur said in a statement following word of the development.